An adaptation of Christopher New’s 1993 essay: Antitheism, A Reflection
If we found a bomb concealed in a children’s kindergarten, primed and set to detonate when it would wreak the greatest possible carnage, we would reasonably assume that someone vicious and vile – someone evil – had designed the device and had purposefully put it there maximise suffering. How much more reasonable must it be for the impartial observer to then attribute the world as we know it to a vicious and vile, non-contingent, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnimalevolent designer? Is this not, after all, the most likely explanation for the world before us?
Who else but a perfectly malevolent being would arrange for the enormous suffering present and guaranteed in our perilously thin, blisteringly violent biosphere? Think of the pain and destruction wrought by earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, famines and disease. Would a benevolent designer have made provision for such assured suffering? Who but a hostile and sadistic being would design complex organic life, enveloped by sensors so acutely tuned to feel pain? Who but a blighted creator would model and shape the human brain, so exquisitely geared to experience fear and anxiety, and the capacity to foresee its own death? Would a benevolent designer have conceived of the parasitoid wasp, ring worm, the brain burrowing Human Bot Fly larvae, or the Ebola virus? Who else but a degenerate could conceptualise jaws and teeth and claws, so expertly crafted to puncture and tear at living flesh just so one beast – always the more violent and cunning – may steal another beast’s protein in a daily apocalypse of bloodletting? Who but perfect wickedness would envision cancer, so beautifully adapted to ravage and kill innocent children, or osteoporosis and arthritis to ensure maximum suffering of the elderly? Who but a thoroughly debased creator would design cot death? Who but a malevolent being would call His aesthetic masterpiece, Man; a creature as adept to enslaving, torturing and killing one, as he is to enslaving, torturing and killing ten million? Who but a contemptible being could so effortlessly herd humans and animals alike into defined Kill Zones along fertile river basins and the rich bases of volcanoes where the soils are irresistible, but calamity is assured? Indeed, is not the universe itself the greatest perversion, and therefore greatest proof of this creators existence? Who but the immaculate embodiment of malice would design such a thing; a contaminated prize always seen, yet forever out of reach. Is this not the crowning torment which a wicked creator would dangle in front of the eyes of a curious explorer?
Undeniably, we observe His hand in every corner of the world – an intelligently designed world – and through advanced ontological reasoning can conclude that the Author of Sin necessarily exists. If one can imagine such a being – a being with whom no worse can be conceived – in one possible universe, then that being’s existence cannot be intelligibly denied in all possible universes. The conclusion follows:
- It is possible that a maximally wicked being exists.
- If it’s possible that a maximally wicked being exists, then a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world.
- If a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
- If a maximally wicked being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
- Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists in the actual world.
- Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists.
- Therefore, the Omnimalevolent creator exists.
While true there do exist sceptics and unbelievers, the only coherent objection ever presented by non-believers to deny the self-evident existence of an omnimalevolent creator is the so-named, Problem of Good. It is asked: if the owner of all Infernal Names is omniscient, omnipotent and omnimalevolent, why then does He allow the existence of good in the world? Either He can’t prevent it, in which case He is not omnipotent, or else He chooses to allow it, in which case He is not omnimalevolent. To answer we must distinguish between natural good and moral good. Natural good encompasses anomalous occurrences like health, good harvests, fine weather, and the temporary absence of earthquakes and pestilence; natural events which give limited reprieve to more assured passages of suffering. Moral good on the other hand arises from human actions that briefly promote wellbeing, harmony and peace rather than disorder and suffering which is the staple of all human civilisation.
First, the existence of natural good may be explained as an inevitable consequence of the laws of nature; parameters that are necessary for the wholesale production of evil. If we are to cause harm, we must first know how to do so, and this requires the predictability found in the laws of nature as laid out by the Author of Sin. If, for example, we wish to drown unwanted girl-children, we must first know that unwanted girl-children (and human beings in general) cannot breathe under water. If we could not rely on this fact, and millions like it, our efforts to do wrong would be chaotic and ineffective, and suffering would be seriously reduced. Easy respiration on land is, therefore, a necessary residue, and superfluous good – natural good – is the minimum necessary for the overall production of the maximum of evil.
Second, the unsightly existence moral good – the good resulting from misguided human action – is little more than the anomalous consequence of free will; summarised generally as the free will defence. Simply put, we sometimes choose to do good, and the omnimalevolent creator has made the world such that we have the opportunity to do massive good if we choose. Why, the sceptic asks, would a perfectly evil creator permit such an abomination? The answer is as eloquent as it is villainous: free will is an evil in and by itself, for it makes sin possible and allows us all to approach a little nearer to the highest status of our wicked creator. Consider this: is it not worse to do evil by our own free will than being causally determined to sow mayhem? Granted, in creating men with free will the Great Architect of Suffering has to accept that sometime man may act for good rather than wickedness, but the greater evil that is realised through the possession of free will far outweighs the occasional good that also occurs through its existence. The world, in other words, is a worse place for the existence of free will.
For sceptics the free will defence fails, however, to answer why the guilty also suffer. If the omnimalevolent creator exists, sceptics rightly ask, why does He allow the guilty, who have never done anything good, to sometimes suffer? While superficially meaningful, the objection is as confused and disorganised as prayer. Since the Author of Sin promotes only evil, He has no interest in protecting the wicked from suffering, so it should not surprise us that the wicked suffer as well as the good; in that way guaranteeing greater misery is brought about. Whether it is the wicked or the good that suffer is of no concern to Him. It is the quantity and quality of suffering that matters, not the distribution, so He allows His pain to fall upon the unjust and the just in equal measure. It is clear, therefore, to conclude with great confidence that the problem of good is not insoluble, and that there is no compelling argument against the existence of the omnimalevolent creator.